What is a movie to you? For some it's an escape from the reality of the world. A chance to sit down, unwind and forget about all the troubles that we deal with in our daily lives. Which of course is the point of them. Movies are entertainment. However, sometimes a movie can be so much more.
A movie can bring you joy, laughter and even happiness. It can make you sad, nostalgic and long for something that you want or have lost. Then there are those rare times that a movie can make you think. Those special few movies can make you look at the world around you, they can make you question the very nature of reality!
On a smaller scale, those few movies can make you take a good, hard look at your own life. Can I do better? Be better? Or should I just be thankful for what I've got? These are just a few questions that a really great movie can leave you asking yourself.
So we look at the 14 movies that will make you re-think your life.
11 About Time
The first movie on our list possesses the question: if you could time travel, would you go back and change things?
The movie is a bit blurry with the science but a young man finds out that all the male members of his family have the ability to travel through time. In particular, across their own time line. He then rushes back through his life to change things for his own personal gain. He eventually falls in love. Once he has won over his love, he starts a family. Then the rules change as he discovers there are certain points you can't travel back to. For example, if you have a child and travel back prior to their birth. When you come back to the present, the baby could be different; could be a boy or girl - after all, it's chance.
10 Fight Club
When Fight Club was first released, it caused a bit of an outrage in the critic world with a lot of them taking the film at face value and labeled it as an overly savage and violent mockery of 'middle America.'
Luckily the fans didn't see it the same way and the movie, quite rightly, became an instant cult classic. With a brilliant look at the modern world, Fight Club asks the questions about identity in the modern world. Who are we? Are we our jobs? Are we the objects we own?
9 Lost in Translation
Not only did this movie make Scarlett Johansson an almost overnight sensation, as well as re-start the high profile career of Bill Murray, but it also showed us about connections.
8 The Matrix
A movie that many people claimed to have changed cinema forever. Taking away the groundbreaking special effects, the film itself is a mix of action, philosophy and even fairy-tales. At the heart of the movie is the question 'what is reality?'
What would you do in order to survive? When all hope is gone, what is left inside ourselves? These are just some of the questions that we ask ourselves when we watch 127 Hours.
After mountain climber Aron Ralston gets trapped under a fallen boulder, he spends the next 5 days trapped. Spending the time thinking over his life and the people he's known, the time soon comes when he must decide and take action if he's going to get out.
7 American Beauty
If there is a movie that perfectly represents a midlife crisis, it's American Beauty. The Oscar-winning movie hits so many nails firmly on the head, and asks that age old question, 'What is happiness?'
6 Before Sunrise
This is a movie that brings up the one subject that still dominates us all - love. When two strangers from opposite ends of the world meet by chance on a train, they instantly feel a connection. Having only till the next day, as that is when his flight leaves, they decide to spend the day together.
5 Life is Beautiful
A dark and gritty movie here that's set against the backdrop of World War II. The subject matter and situations may not be relevant to today's audiences but the message is still the same: hope and optimism. No matter what life can throw at you, always stay positive.
Lars Von Trier has become synonymous with thought provoking work as his films quite often shine a light onto the darker, and often unspoken, parts of humanity. This film is no different.
3 Under the Skin
Another movie on this list for Scarlett Johansson, and probably one of her best performances to date.
Johansson is an alien who assumes human form and seduces men to be 'harvested.' This is a movie that needs to be watched and experienced. So without giving anything else away, this movie tackles human consciousness and how our experiences factor into that.
2 The Man from Earth
One of the most overlooked and underrated movies in recent years. This science fiction film, which doesn't rely on CGI or explosions to tell its story, is purely dialogue and character driven. Essentially a conversation between academics, the movie simply tackles some of the big questions about humanity such as religion, culture and even the very existence of humanity itself.
Raising the question of immortality and how that would shape the modern world, or what in fact would a man who's lived a thousand years make of the modern world. And would someone who can live so long still care about mortal life or any life at all?
Many younger people may not realize it now, especially with reality TV and celebrity culture dominating our lives. But The Truman Show was greatly ahead of its time. The original 'Big Brother,' it held a mirror up to society at just how far we would go for 'entertainment.'
A man is secretly filmed for his entire life, with every moment of it being manipulated by the TV executives, including his love life, his father's death and making him so terrified of water that he won't dare leave his home town.
A movie that may not make you think about the reality around you, as with a lot of movies on this list. But instead should make you panic and run screaming from the technical world we live in.
When a lonely middle aged man hears about a new operating system that has the world's first artificial intelligence, he immediately rushes out to get it. After spending time with 'her,' he starts to have romantic feelings for 'her.'
1 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
With all the movies about love and finding that special someone, what happens when you've found that person and it doesn't work out? Do you give up? Try again? Or erase them entirely?
Number one on our list has to be the greatest love/ break up film of all time, as Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet do just that. Tired with their relationship, both Carrey and Winslet have each other erased from their own memories. The film is brilliantly shot, in almost a Memento style as Carrey (in a career defining performance) tries to cling on to the memories of his love.
This asks the question: what is love? And is love stronger than the trivial lives we lead together? But most importantly, is there such a thing as true love? Having your memories wiped and then meeting that person again, would love still be there?
Sources: www.imdb.com ; wikipedia.org
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